NTSB Reports: August 2016

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents.


Cessna Model 310F
May 5, 2016, North Little Rock, Arkansas

The airplane was destroyed at about 1331 Central time when it impacted terrain following a loss of control. A post-impact fire ensued. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. The pilot examiner was fatally injured. Day visual conditions prevailed.

The accident occurred during an FAA checkride for the airline transport certificate administered by a designated pilot examiner. Following the accident, several fire department personnel spoke with the commercial pilot. When asked what had occurred, he told fire department personnel that the left engine had experienced a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff. He further stated that, following the loss of left engine power, the examiner took over airplane control and was attempting to fly the airplane back to the airport when the accident occurred.

Mooney M20F Executive 21
May 5, 2016, Little Rock, Arkansas

At about 1030 Central time, the airplane was force-landed shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and passenger were not injured, but the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot subsequently reported the engine started to “sputter” about the time he retracted the landing gear. In response, the pilot lowered the landing gear and tried to stop on the remaining runway. However, the airplane landed hard on the nose gear, the nose gear collapsed and the airplane came to a stop just off the end of the runway, sustaining substantial damage to the firewall.

NTSB accident reports

Piper PA-32RT-300T Turbo Lance II
May 5, 2016, Gainesville, Georgia

The pilot subsequently reported that a gust of wind caused the airplane to balloon 10 to 15 feet above the runway during the landing flare. The pilot further reported that the touchdown was hard, the left main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane veered off the left side of the runway. The fuselage was substantially damaged.

The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. An automated weather observing system reported the wind from 310 degrees true at 14 knots, gusting to 20 knots, for the landing on Runway 29.

The NTSB already has determined a probable cause: “The pilot’s failure to maintain an appropriate descent rate during the landing flare in gusty crosswind conditions, which resulted in a hard landing, left main landing gear collapse and runway excursion.”

Antonov An2
May 6, 2016, San Bernardino, California

At about 1200 Pacific time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing, which followed a reported loss of engine power during the landing approach. The commercial pilot and sole passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later stated the flight was a familiarization flight. After entering the crosswind traffic pattern leg to land on Runway 24, the pilot performed the before-landing checklist, which included turning on carburetor heat and switching the fuel tank selector. Shortly thereafter, the engine lost all power.

The pilot attempted numerous engine restarts but was unsuccessful. He realized he would not be able to reach the airport and decided to make a forced landing to a small field in a residential area. During the landing approach, the airplane contacted a power line. After touching down in the field, the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted, which resulted in substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

Beech Model G35 Bonanza
May 7, 2016, Surprise, Arizona

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1655 Mountain time, during an engine-out forced landing. The flight instructor was fatally injured and the private pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight instructor, who also held a mechanic’s certificate, was asked to complete a maintenance flight after the airplane had recently been serviced. He elected to use the accident flight to provide instruction to the private pilot, who had requested a checkout in the airplane.

Preliminary radar data depict the airplane departing the airport to the northeast. About 10 miles north, it made a 180-degree right turn, followed by a 270-degree left turn. It then entered a constant descent, which continued to the last radar return about 0.15 miles southeast of the accident site. All the major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site.

Piper PA-28
May 8, 2016, Pomona, California

At about 1630 Pacific time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during an engine-out forced landing to the top of an office/industrial building complex. The solo private pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

While approaching the destination airport at about 2000 feet msl, engine power dropped to about 1000 rpm. Enrichening the mixture and switching fuel tanks failed to restore power. When the pilot realized he would not make the airport, he chose a rooftop instead of a residential area. After touchdown, the airplane came to an abrupt stop, upright, with its engine partially embedded into the roof.

Beech Model B24R Sierra
May 10, 2016, Groveland, California

The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain at about 1215 Pacific time, during an attempted takeoff. The airline transport pilot and student pilot/passenger/owner received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The owner recently purchased the airplane, which “reportedly had not been maintained, operated, or flown in at least five years, and possibly 10 or more.” Subsequent to the purchase, the owner contracted a mechanic to perform maintenance on it. Shortly after the second takeoff, “during or at gear retraction,” the engine began losing power, and the airplane struck trees and a utility pole, and then thick underbrush and the ground, coming to rest about 1800 feet beyond the departure runway.

Boeing B75N1 Stearman
May 11, 2016, Winslow, Arizona

At about 1710 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an engine-related forced landing shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After takeoff, as the airplane climbed to about 30 to 50 feet agl, the engine began to lose power. The pilot turned left to avoid power lines and subsequently landed off-airport. During the landing roll, the right main landing gear sank into the ground and the airplane cartwheeled. All four wings, the tail and the fuselage were structurally damaged.

Cessna Model 208B Grand Caravan
May 12, 2016, Acampo, California

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1413 Pacific time during an engine-out forced landing. The commercial pilot of the skydiving flight sustained minor injuries; his 17 passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, the engine lost power while climbing through 1000 feet agl. After turning toward the airport, the pilot realized it was beyond gliding range and landed in an open field. During the landing roll, the airplane exited the field, crossed a road, impacted a truck, continued into a vineyard and nosed over. The fuselage and left wing were structurally damaged.

Piper PA-22-108 Colt
May 13, 2016, Gallatin, Tennessee

At about 1430 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing and subsequent loss of control. The private pilot and his two passengers were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.

During initial climb after takeoff, a fire developed and filled the cockpit with smoke. The pilot returned for landing and, after touchdown, he lost control and veered off into the grass, where the nose gear collapsed, causing the airplane to tip forward onto its nose. After coming to rest, the passengers and pilot evacuated before the airplane became completely engulfed in flames. Subsequently, the pilot stated the cockpit area contained three “live baby birds” when he arrived to conduct his preflight. He did not see any sign of a nest.

Cessna Model 180
May 13, 2016, California City, California

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1315 Pacific time when it nosed over onto its back following a landing. The private pilot and his passenger received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane had just been returned to service after an annual inspection that included replacing both brake rotors and the left brake pads. On the second flight after the inspection, the airplane touched down in the three-point attitude, bounced once and touched down again. It then began veering left, and the pilot was unable to maintain directional control. The airplane departed the paved runway surface and nosed over onto its back. During the airplane’s recovery, it was determined that both main wheels rotated freely.

Rutan Quickie Experimental
May 13, 2016, Mojave, California

At about 1530 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a structure and terrain following a loss of engine power. The pilot received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Originally designed for a single piston engine, the accident airplane had been modified to be powered by two turbine engines. The accident flight was intended to explore its crosswind characteristics, with several circuits in the airport traffic pattern terminating in low approaches and go-arounds before a full-stop landing. During the second approach, while in the flare at approximately 10 feet agl, the airplane encountered a gust from the right. The pilot applied power to go around, but the left engine spooled down and the airplane headed toward a parked Boeing 747. With reduced thrust, the pilot cleared the 747 but was unable to maintain directional control even with full aileron and rudder input. The airplane impacted a structure and the ground shortly thereafter. Weather included winds at 15 knots.

Globe GC-1B Swift
May 14, 2016, Hedgesville, West Virginia

The airplane was substantially damaged at 1310 Eastern time when it impacted terrain while attempting to take off. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness reported the runway windsock was indicating gusty winds and a slight quartering tailwind. As the airplane began its takeoff roll, it drifted to the left of the centerline and rotated. The engine was at full power and the airplane was at a high pitch angle as it began climbing rapidly. The witness observed a rapid aileron input and the airplane “stalled.”

Pitts S-2SW Experimental
May 14, 2016, Atlanta, Georgia

At about 1647 Eastern time, the airplane collided with terrain during an aerial display. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire. Visual conditions prevailed.

The accident pilot was performing air show maneuvers as part of a flight of two. Initial examination of video provided by witnesses depict the Pitts performing a crossing maneuver with the other airplane over the airfield, and then pulling up into a loop. As the Pitts descended out of the loop, its wings rocked back and forth as the other airplane approached from the opposite direction. Immediately prior to ground impact, the Pitts appeared to begin a level-off maneuver.

The debris field was about 500 feet in length. A post-crash fire consumed a majority of the main wreckage. Flight control continuity was established from the ailerons, elevator and rudder surfaces to the cockpit controls. All fractures to the flight control connection rods exhibited signatures of overstress.

Cessna Model R182 Skylane RG
May 15, 2016, Altadena, California

The airplane was destroyed at about 0829 Pacific time when it impacted terrain during cruise flight. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

While being vectored for an instrument approach to Santa Monica, ATC issued the pilot a heading change to 290 degrees and a descent clearance to 3000 feet for vectors to the final approach course. But the controller received no response from the pilot despite multiple attempts. The pilot then transmitted that he was on a 030-degree heading. The controller continued to issue vectors away from rising terrain and made several attempts to communicate with the pilot, but no further radio transmissions from the pilot were heard. Radar contact was lost. The wreckage was located later that day; the airplane was mostly consumed by a post-impact fire.

Beech Model A36TC Turbo Bonanza
May 16, 2016, Tupelo, Mississippi

At about 0835 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff. The airline transport pilot and three passengers sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Shortly after takeoff, the pilot advised ATC there was smoke in the cockpit and that they needed to return to the airport. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane in a descent with smoke and flames coming from it before it impacted terrain. Examination revealed the exhaust pipe was missing from the exhaust side of the turbocharger. The exhaust pipe was recovered by airport personnel from the runway, along with a fractured V-band retaining clamp used to secure it to the turbocharger.

Additional examination of the V-band clamp revealed the outer band was fractured at a spot weld, and that oxidation and deposits found on the fracture surface were consistent with the presence of a preexisting crack.

Cessna Model 210F Centurion
May 16, 2016, Wantage, New Jersey

The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted wooded terrain under unknown circumstances. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

There were no known witnesses to the accident and there is no record of his contacting flight service or ATC. The first reports of an emergency locator transmitter near the accident site were received by ATC at 2252; the wreckage was located three days later. Radar data revealed targets originating at the departure airport and terminating near the accident side. The last recorded target was at 2241:56, indicating an altitude of 900 feet msl. Weather observed about six miles south of the accident site at 2253 included calm winds, visibility of 10 miles and clear skies.

Cessna Model R182 Skylane RG
May 16, 2016, Lake City, Florida

At about 1106 Eastern time, the airplane sustained substantial damage when its main landing gear collapsed during a precautionary landing. The private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later stated that, while in cruise flight, the entire instrument panel “began flickering, then went completely dead.” He checked all circuit breakers and reset the avionics master switch, but was unable to restore electrical power. The pilot informed ATC of the electrical failure and advised he would be making a precautionary landing. He then reduced speed and extended the landing gear, visually checking that the left main gear appeared to be down and locked.

Subsequently, the pilot was cleared to land via light-gun signals. When the airplane touched down, the main gear collapsed and the nose gear remained extended, resulting in substantial damage to the right horizontal stabilizer. Examination revealed the main electrical contactor was burned and had shorted out internally. The part was original to the airplane and had accrued about 3235 flight hours.


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